Most people start their day with coffee or water. Me? A tall green smoothie is my morning drink of choice. I still enjoy coffee, but I don’t feel fully awake until I’ve had a smoothie with lots of fruit and greens.
Five years ago, I tried out green smoothies with the hopes of improving my digestion. I never looked back. Over the years, I’ve experienced benefits that go far beyond those related to gut health.
Reading: drinking green smoothies everyday
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Here’s why you should consider drinking green smoothies, plus ideas about how to make them taste amazing.
4 Benefits of Green Smoothies
Green smoothies have been made popular by celebrities and health experts. Here are a few reasons why I’m a long-time advocate of them.
- Gut health: Digestive benefits originally drew me to green smoothies. I suffered from bloating and abdominal pain for years, so I was eager to find something that worked for me. (Spoiler alert: Green smoothies made a huge difference in my gut health.) Green smoothies are packed with fiber and water content, which help the GI tract keep chugging along.
- Fitness: Many people turn to green smoothies to help reach their fitness goals. Since smoothies are versatile, they can be as high- or low-calorie as you’d like. Similarly, they can be low-fat or high-protein depending on your goals. This may help with weight loss or muscle gain. For me, I initially experienced some fat loss and later I gained muscle.
- Energy: Green smoothies contain a concentrated amount of nutrients. The sugar from fruit is all-natural and the calories come from healthy foods like fruit, greens, seeds, and nut butters. Complex carbohydrates, such as bananas, are also a great source of sustained energy. This is why I feel super-energized each morning.
- Nutrition: I look at green smoothies like nutrition powerhouses. You can pack them with nutritious plant-based foods as well as superfoods, like protein powder, cacao, acai, spirulina, and more. My superfood of choice? Chia seeds, which are high in healthy fats, fiber, and protein.
Green Smoothie Ideas
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So, what to put in your green smoothie? The options are endless, but here are some ideas to get you started.
- Greens: You’ll hardly taste them, so pack in the spinach, kale, zucchini, parsley, or green powders for a nutrition boost.
- Fruit: Bananas are a cheap source of B vitamins, complex carbs, and fiber. Kiwis add antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins C and E. Avocados make it creamier with healthy fats. Tropical fruit like mango and pineapple will sweeten the smoothie. Berries are an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamins. You can’t go wrong with any frozen fruit medley.
- Hydration: You’ll need a liquid base, so this is a great opportunity to get in some hydration. I like adding coconut water, orange juice, or almond milk on occasion, but I usually stick to 2 cups of plain cold water.
- Seeds: Sneaking in chia, flax, or hemp seeds is a great source of healthy fats, fiber, and plant-based protein.
- Protein powder: As a vegan, I love adding pea or hemp protein powder.
- Nut butter: Almond butter will help mask the taste of greens, and it’s also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein.
Choose your ingredients, toss them all in the blender for a few minutes, and enjoy. Keep experimenting as you discover your favorite combinations.
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